Here at BTW, we believe in lunch break sweat sessions. Having a break in the middle of the day really helps break up the time you spend at work. I know what you might be thinking: "Does your boss care?" "Do you get to eat lunch?" And the most asked question of all: "Don't you get all sweaty?" Honestly, the answers are no, yes, and kinda but not really.
Making time for yourself, let alone finding time to work out can be tough. It's especially difficult when you're trying to squeeze a full-on workout into an hours time and still making time to eat. You also might have concerns that your boss thinks you're a slacker for leaving the office in the middle of the day. Truth be told, we've realized that nobody actually cares about your midday workout, as long as you get all your work done.
Here at BTW, we believe that working out over lunch makes for happier, healthier and more productive employees. If you want to jump on the workout train with us, here's our best advice for making your lunch break sweat sesh happen:
Before adding noon workouts to my calendar, I brought it up with my boss. Since her leadership style is basically “Do what you gotta do, but be reasonable and get shit done,” I figured she would be open to it, and she was. However, I'm a content manager for health care communications, which means my day-to-day mostly involves meetings, conference calls, and writing or editing on a laptop. In my role, it's entirely feasible to spend a lunch break outside walking a couple days a week, but not all industries or titles allow for this. I'm also verbal about why working out midday benefits me (I'm more focused and relaxed afterward) and the company bottom line (I'm also more engaged and creative). Honesty breeds respect, and most employers know by this point that work wellness matters.
Work comes first
Of course we would love to block out a spot on our calendars every day to make time for our in-studio barre workout class, eat a healthy salad, and jump back into the work day feeling refreshed. However, reality sets in and sometimes we aren't able to make the allotted time needed for that particular class and have to remember that work always comes first.
On the days that you are able to work out over lunch, you have to be willing to make up the time away from the office however necessary. That can include staying late, bringing work home, or waking up early the next day to make it to the office early. Working out should make you less stressed, not more, so you need to do whatever it takes to find that balance.
Dry Shampoo, Face Wipes + Deodorant
Let's be honest - you're going to sweat. But you have to get over it. Or if you really just can't, try taking a yoga, barre or Pilates class where minimal sweating is involved. Here at BTW, we do not go the “wash your hair” route. Instead, keep a fully stocked gym bag with all the essentials: face wipes, deodorant, and dry shampoo. If your gym has a shower, rinse off quickly, throw your hair in a bun, and go. The goal here is to get some type of physical activity in and return to the office looking somewhat decent. Make it work.
Always pack a variety of workout clothes and accessories to accommodate any type of workout, and bring your gym bag to work. By doing this, you allow you allow yourself to take full advantage of your time no matter what, instead of getting upset that you didn't have the proper gear. Yes, it's a slight hassle to remember your stuff every day, but if you plan ahead and pack your things the night before, you'll ensure that you don't miss an opportunity to get your workout in while giving your brain a mental midday break.
There is no reason why you should be swapping lunch for a workout. Make sure that you're still getting your lunch in after you make it to the gym. Your body needs extra energy and nutrients, so try pack your food the night before. Packing your lunch allows you to eat a healthy meal that gives your body the nutrients you really need without giving you the heavy feeling you can easily get from eating out. Packing your lunch also gives you more time to get in quick exercise. Try to pack a snack to eat an hour before the gym and then something protein-packed for right when you get back to your desk.
Working out over lunch will leave you feeling more energized (and not grabbing that 2pm cup of coffee), able to solve problems faster and multitask more efficiently. Your eyes will also thank you for giving them a break from the computer screen. Most of all, you'll be a much happier employee.